I own an at-home flower business and make a ton of wood centerpiece boxes for my customers. I wanted to share the easiest way I have found to make long, rectangular wood centerpiece boxes. I use the same technique to make square boxes as well. You can use these same basics for any size centerpiece box you’d like to make.
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Supplies Needed for a DIY Wood Centerpiece Box
- I used a 1 in. x 6 in. x 6 ft. cedar fence picket from Home Depot. You can use whatever type of boards you’d like for this project. Other popular choices are pine boards and pallet boards.
- Miter saw we have this one
- Wood glue
- Adjustable bar clamps
- Nail gun and compressor OR a Cordless nail gun
- my preferred nail gun is an 18 gauge. I would recommend you use brad nails or finish nails for this project
- Paint or stain of your choice
- I used this acrylic white paint to whitewash this box
- Foam brush or rags
How to Make a Centerpiece Box With No Tools
If you don’t DIY a lot of wood projects, you might not have a saw, nail gun, and sander. Those might be too much of an investment if you just want to make one wood box. You can work around not having tools for this project though! So not to worry.
If you don’t have a saw, you can get the wood cut at the home improvement store you purchase the wood at. Or you can ask a friend or family member to borrow theirs for some quick cuts. You’ll need to measure things out a little differently though on the end pieces. Your end pieces will need to be the (the width of your board + (the width of the edge of your board x2)). If your boards are 5.5 inches wide and the edges are .75 inches, you’d need to cut your end piece to be 7 inches long.
No nail gun? You can definitely just glue the boards together. Optionally, you can add some strength to the box by using a hammer and nails just as you would the nail gun.
No sander? You can use an affordable sanding block instead.
How to Assemble Your Centerpiece Box
Cut three boards the same length. Your length will depend on how long you want your finished box to be. I cut mine to be 10.5 inches long. The edges of my boards were .75 inches each and I needed my finished box to be 13 inches long total.
If you are not covering up the inside of your box and you want it to show in your decor, you can pre-sand all sides of your boards to get rid of any imperfections. You can also skip all sanding for this project if you’d like to keep it rough and rustic.
Glue the edges of two boards as shown in the picture. These will press against your middle/bottom of the box.
Clamp the boards into place. You’ll want to make sure that the ends of your boards are lined up evenly. You can follow the instructions on your glue to make sure it’s dry. I just move on to the next step and let my glue dry after the whole box is assembled.
Nail the bottom of the box (where the glue line is) where your bottom and sides come together. I like to nail every few inches to make sure the box is secure.
Place the open end of the box onto your piece of wood to draw where your end piece should be cut. Make sure that your edges are square and even with your box before you draw your line. This will ensure your end piece covers the whole side of the box and that you won’t need to do a ton of additional sanding.
Cut your board on the line you drew. Then glue the open edge of the box.
Place your end piece over the glued area making sure that all of your sides are even and straight with the box. You can clamp the boards to make sure they do not move while drying/nailing. Then nail the edges of the box to secure.
Wait for your glue to dry completely and then sand the box to a smooth finish. (You can skip the sanding if you don’t want a smooth look.)
How to Whitewash Your Wood Centerpiece Box
Now that your centerpiece box is built, it’s time to finish it. I chose to whitewash my box, but you can finish yours however you’d like. You can leave it as is, paint it, or stain it.
The first step in whitewashing your box is to add a layer of white acrylic paint to your box. You can also use a whitewash stain in place of this technique. I like the control the acrylic gives you in determining how much white you apply to the box.
Next, you’ll take a moist paper towel or baby wipe and wipe off some of the paint. This will help the wood show through. You can do this step multiple times to get the color you want. You may also want to just wipe some areas and not others to create contrast.
Do this on all sides of your box. You can paint the inside and the bottom if you’d like as well. I will be filling this centerpiece with a flower arrangement, so I skipped the inside as it won’t be seen.
Let the paint on your box dry and you can move on to decorating with your new centerpiece box! You can add a protectant such as a polyurethane at this point if you are needing your box to withstand the elements.
Finishing Your Wood Centerpiece Box
Now that your centerpiece is finished, you can decorate with it however you’d like. I had created this box for a customer who wanted a sola wood flower arrangement in custom colors. I painted the wood flowers, filled the box with floral foam, and arranged the flowers and some greenery.
More DIY Wood Centerpiece Box Ideas
Like I had mentioned, I use most of the centerpiece boxes I make to put flower arrangements in. See a completed arrangement here. There are a bunch of ways to use them though. Here are a few ways you can use your centerpiece boxes:
- Use them to hold mason jars arrangements
- Decorate them with seasonal/holiday items that you can change out throughout the year
- Fill them with greenery and artificial flowers
- Place flameless candles in the middle